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 For instance, physician empathy improves patient satisfaction and adherence

to treatment, and correlates with fewer medical errors. Empathetic physicians


are better at managing chronic conditions like diabetes. Higher levels of
communication and collaboration mean better outcomes in shock-trauma
units. Inappropriate behavior by nurses and physicians is not only disruptive to
the work environment but, more importantly, these behaviors can harm
patients.

 Patient-centered care is not just about new care delivery models. It is, to a
large degree, about relationships and interactions between providers and
patients and among administrators, physicians, nurses and staff. With this
realization, healthcare is exploring how we can apply the concept of Emotional
Intelligence.

 research showed that overall performance was often the result of


interpersonal, rather than technical, skills

 These abilities can be grouped into five core areas: • Self awareness • Self
regulation • Self motivation • Social awareness • Social skills.

 an innovative behavioral construct to patientcentered care. Whether a


physician or nurse scores high or low in any of these areas is less important
than their ability to understand their behavioral make-up and adapt
accordingly. The construct includes four core areas:

1. Compassion — How compassion is measured, and how the results


presented, are important. We’ve seen outstanding clinicians who don’t score
on the high side of the compassion scale. For compassion to be useful, it must
result in positive action. Even highly factual (vs. feeling) individuals can connect
with patients and coworkers if they are aware and able to convey that they are
trying to understand the other’s emotional state.

2. Awareness — The ability to understand a situation and either focus on the


details or the big picture, as appropriate, is invaluable to creating a patient-
centric culture and to successfully collaborating and working in teams.

3. Regulation — The ability to moderate emotions is critical to the ability to


problem solve under stress and to maintain productive, professional
relationships and behaviors. Those at either end of the spectrum can function
well if they are aware of their natural reactions. Those who are highly excitable
may be at a greater risk for impulsive negative remarks or actions (e.g.,
physician disruptive behavior). Those who are hyper-controlled, however, are
often perceived as distant and uncaring.

4. Emotional Intelligence. Or, your level of “social focus.” Are you so focused on
the task at hand that you fail to read the needs of patients and colleagues, or
are you easily able to read others’ emotions and use that information to
achieve a positive outcome? For example, once you know that you are highly
factual and less socially focused, you can get in the habit of making a special
effort to evaluate how a patient or colleague is reacting to you and act
accordingly.

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Melody WildingFollow
High Performance Coach. Human Behavior professor. Get the guide thousands use to master their
mindset & emotions: melodywilding.com/guide
Nov 7

A 1 Minute Exercise To
End Anxiety
Natalia Figueredo
The average person makes about 35,000 decisions every day —
 from choosing an outfit to deciding which seat to take at a
meeting. In fact, we make 200 judgments each day about food
alone.

But research shows that all that decision making can be


mentally and physically draining. Although the idea of
willpower as a finite resource is now contested in the field of
psychology, it’s well documented that humans have a limited
reserve of daily energy that’s dependent on adequate rest and
sustenance. As these reservoirs are depleted, our ability to make
sound judgments can deteriorate — whether that means buying
on impulse, skipping the gym, or overreacting to a mild
annoyance.

Case in point: Hungry judges rule differently. One study found


that judges’ percentage of favorable rulings was highest in the
mornings, steadily declining as the day went on. Why? As the
day wore on, judges got decision fatigue and needed a break to
refuel. After taking a lunch break, the likelihood of a favorable
ruling jumped back up again, only to fall again by the end of the
day.

The trick to making better decisions, then, is to figure out how


to manage your internal resources and acknowledge your limits.
As a human behavior expert and executive coach who is
constantly engaged in cognitively demanding deep work, I’ve
found that one of the most powerful tools for dealing
with decision fatigue is a simple self-care practice commonly
used to manage stress, called HALT.

Take a break
We often have a hard time acknowledging our limits. Instead,
we power on, stay busy, and deny our need for recovery. That’s
because decision fatigue essentially switches off our ability to
self-monitor. We fail to recognize the symptoms that are telling
us we need a break.

I recommend using the HALT system to do a personal self-


inventory, so that we can recognize when we’re most vulnerable
to making poor decisions. This means regularly instating times
in your day to ask yourself if you are:

 Hungry
 Angry
 Lonely
 Tired

The framework includes the basic needs that are hardwired into
our biology. If you’re dealing with any of these problems, you’re
more likely to respond negatively to stressors and make bad
decisions. This tool can help you better care for yourself and
stay in control of your reactions — whether in personal
relationships or in business.

If you’re hungry:

Low blood sugar can mimic anxiety and panic


symptoms, studies show, so practice “hanger” management.
Avoid skipping meals or going too long without eating. If you do
find that you’re hungry, pause before you accidentally fire off a
defensive email to your boss and find yourself a snack.

If you’re angry:

While anger is uncomfortable, it’s a normal human emotion and


important to deal with constructively. Research suggests that
venting does more harm than good, so think twice before
lashing out on Twitter or passive-aggressively slamming doors
to let your partner know you’re mad. However, bottling up your
frustrations or ignoring them doesn’t work either. Instead,
try journaling, progressive relaxation, or mindfulness
exercises to get your prefrontal cortex back in the driver’s seat.

If you’re lonely:

Feeling rejected, misunderstood, or alone can lead


to internalizing behaviorssuch as self-imposed isolation and
withdrawal. Humans need interaction to survive, so it’s
important to tend to your social needs, even if you’re shy or
introverted. If you find yourself on the verge of making an
emotional or impulsive decision, it may be that loneliness —
 rather than logic — is driving your thinking. Pick up the phone to
call a friend, force yourself to go to book club, or ask a co-worker
out to coffee before returning to the matter at hand. You’ll be a
lot more likely to make a sound choice if your emotional
reserves are full.

If you’re tired:

It’s common to tout “being busy” as a badge of honor, but living


in a state of perpetual exhaustion is not sustainable. Build time
into your schedule for adequate rest and recovery, and be
diligent about practicing sleep hygiene. If technology is
negatively effecting your well-being, consider a digital detox.

Make HALT a habit


One problem with HALT is that you need to use it the most
when you’re not in a frame of mind to do so. That’s why I’ve
systematized it into my routines and daily practices, which I’ve
come to refer to as my personal scheduled maintenance. This
includes:
 Leaving a 15-minute buffer in between all appointments in
order to give me wiggle room to HALT, decompress, and
replenish if needed.
 Eating the same thing every day to limit decision fatigue. Call
me boring, but it helps me direct more energy towards
creative projects.
 To stave off the loneliness of working alone, I make sure to
end days with an activity that will place me around other
people — whether that’s a networking event, yoga class, or
simply spending a few hours writing in a café.

Decision fatigue, halted.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, foggy, frustrated or


derailed in any way, try asking yourself: “Am I hungry, angry,
lonely, or tried?” You may be surprised by how quickly your
problems resolve after a snack.
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Melody Wilding

High Performance Coach. Human Behavior professor. Get the guide thousands use to master
their mindset & emotions: melodywilding.com/guide

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